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“This will be your best stay in Peru”
Review of Rupa Wasi Lodge

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Rupa Wasi Lodge
Ranked #12 of 24 Hotels in Aguas Calientes
Superior, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“This will be your best stay in Peru”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

We found Rupa Wasi in a guide book, then looked on TripAdvisor and was blown away by the reviews. This little place only has a handful of rooms and a restaurant. Rupa Wasi is considered sustainable lodging because of their commitment to environmental responsibility: they compost, recycle, and encourage minimal water & electrical use. Additionally, they have gone through great lengths to incorporate the surrounding area in the construction of the tiny resort.

Upon getting off the train in Aguas Calientes, we found an employee from Rupa Wasi to escort us to the resort. This is where tip #1 will come in: notify Rupa Wasi (more than likely via email) of what train & time you arrive so they have someone waiting to show you to the resort. We were fortunate that there was another couple there who *had* contacted RW for a pickup. The employee barely spoke English, but we were able to translate to him that we needed to follow him. He walked us through the vibrant market, through the square, and up some long & steep stairs to Rupa Wasi. The employee hauled up as many of our bags as he could as well. (Note: get ready to be in great shape after a few climbs of these stairs that go up to Rupa Wasi!)

At the top of the stairs, we found the office of Rupa Wasi. It smelled of damp jungle, because that's where it resided: literally built into the cliff and trees that surrounded it. It was an immediately unique start to our stay...and we hadn't even checked in yet. The front desk clerk, Saida offered us some coca tea and promptly got us orientated to the cozy, homey Rupa Wasi. Saida was very friendly and spoke great english. She gave us the run down of the rooms, the restaurant, how breakfast worked, and then informed us that our pre-booked Machu Picchu info would be ready at 7pm.

Tip #2: Save some hassle and book your Machu Picchu and/or Hyana Picchu tickets & bus through Rupa Wasi. It will save you a lot of time as well. I don't believe Rupa Wasi charges a fee on top of the normal ticket fees.

Tip #3: Get a magnificent box lunch from Rupa Wasi/The Treehouse Resaurant for Machu Picchu. There's a restaurant outside the entrance atop Machu Picchu, but the food pales in comparison to the box lunch you'll get from The Treehouse. This can be ordered right when you check in at Rupa Wasi. More on the box lunch later (also, read my review of the Treehouse Restaurant...easily the best meal in Aguas Calientes).

The non-English speaking fellow who greeted us at the train station (I'm sorry, I wish I could remember his name...Rupa Wasi, if you read this, please let me know what his name is!) hauled our bags up the narrow entry to our room. Saida followed us and gave us the secret handshake to making the hot water work in the tree-house-style room we stayed in. She also showed us the hotel's preference for recycling and composting, then bid us farewell until 7pm.

So at this point, in case you didn't notice, I am in love with the rooms at Rupa Wasi. As you can see above, they are like a tree house. This would seemingly indicate that the room is small and cramped, but it is absolutely not. The only thing small in the suites at Rupa Wasi is the entrance... the sleeping area is very spacious, the bathroom is a very acceptable size, and the balcony that overlooks the cloud forest is also big enough for two people to sit comfortably with a meal or a cocktail. Did I mention that the balcony overlooks the cloud forest *and* has a view of Machu Picchu? Well, it does. We spent most of our first evening in Aguas Calientes sitting on this balcony drinking Cusqueno and taking in the breath-taking view of the towering cliffs, clouds, and Machu Picchu.

Tip #4: There's not a lot to do in Aguas Calientes, so walk down the stairs from Rupa Wasi and take the first left. Go down a few doors and find one of the bodegas and pick yourself up a bottle of wine or a few beers. Haul them back up to your room and sit on the balcony and enjoy this mesmerizing view. You can see my pictures attached to see how to do it right...if you need some guidance.

After check-in, we walked around Aguas Calientes for a few hours, then winded back up at Rupa Wasi to have dinner at The Treehouse Restaurant. This delicious, rustic, upscale restaurant is literally 10 feet from your room's door at Rupa Wasi. It's also where you get to have the complimentary breakfast from Rupa Wasi. (You can read my Treehouse Restaurant review later.) After dinner, it was time to sit on the balcony of our room and drink some Cusquenos while breathing in the fragrant flowers and taking in the incredible view.

When it was time to go to bed, our already-amazing stay at Rupa Wasi only got better...this was the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in...maybe ever. No joke, the mattress, pillows, and comforters were as light and fluffy as the clouds that pass before you while sitting on the balcony. It was the deepest, most comfortable sleep I had in eight days in Peru. The pillows are the softest things I've ever had the privilege of touching. So much so, I'm on a quest to find out where to buy them online so I can integrate them into my sleeping arrangement at home. Prepare to sleep like a baby at Rupa Wasi.

In the AM, we awoke to find no power in the resort. To our surprise--and comfort--most of Aguas Calientes was out of power, too. Saida was working again and was extremely apologetic for the power outage...even though it was most certainly not her fault. If anything, showering by flashlight added to the adventure that was already Rupa Wasi.

The Treehouse Restaurant, where you get your free breakfast at, had power, thankfully (I have no idea how the power "grid" works in Aguas Calientes, and nor did our hosts). Your complimentary breakfast is like none other in Peru. It's essentially a three-course meal, starting with delicious coconut granola & yogurt, then fresh fruit, followed by eggs made-to-order. Fresh Peruvian coffee, mango juice, or bottled water washes the delicious meal down.

It was at this point in the day we were given our fantastic box lunches for our day at Machu Picchu. You can read about those, too, in my review of the Treehouse Restaurant.

Tip #5: Both the Treehouse Restaurant & Rupa Wasi take most major credit cards.

We asked Saida where the bus terminal was, and she walked us right to the front door. We thanked her, then then departed for Machu Picchu and experienced the most mesmerizing scenery in my entire life. After five hours of exploring Machu Picchu, we returned to Rupa Wasi and Saida. The tremendously wonderful service didn't end there.

We asked Saida if we could store our luggage here at Rupa Wasi, and she gladly obliged. Thinking we would need to haul our luggage to a storage area, Saida said to simply keep what we wanted to leave behind in the room, and Rupa Wasi would do the rest.

Upon returning to Rupa Wasi after Machu Picchu, the outstanding service didn't end there...even though we were checked out of Rupa Wasi, and they already had our money, Saida & her coworker again offered us coca tea, coffee, and to fill our water containers. With our financial transaction done, the last thing I expected was to be waited on again. As if my opinion of Rupa Wasi wasn't already set, this simply served to solidify it. Oh yeah, and she apologized for the power being out again, explaining that a transformer had blown in town.

We spent some time resting and drinking tea in the gorgeous courtyard of Rupa Wasi, surrounded by giant fragrant plants and cloud forest. Hummingbirds darted around our heads. At one point, I think we all regretted only spending one night at Rupa Wasi.

Bottom line: there are cheaper places to stay in Aguas Calientes. Out of those cheaper places, few will offer the top-tier customer service of Rupa Wasi. Of that small portion, none of them are as beautiful or as comfortable of a stay. In my opinion, spending a few bucks more than a hostel crammed in "downtown" Aguas Calientes just isn't worth it when I'm on a destination trip to a place I'll probably never be able to return to. I'm glad I spent the money for my wife and I to stay at Rupa Wasi where we will all have vivid, wonderful memories.

Thank you, Rupa Wasi, for helping create memories I'll never forget while in Peru.

Room Tip: Spend the money on a suite so you can be upstairs. That's where you will be treated to a magnifi...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank fonixmunkee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, NY
Level 6 Contributor
256 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Aguas Calientes is a weird place where you feel that everyone has their hand stretched out for your money -- a real tourist trap, and you ARE trapped because there's nowhere else to stay when going to Machu Picchu. Having said that, Rupa Wasi is an oasis. If you can afford it -- and this is a very REASONABLE hotel -- book the top room, the tree house room. I lay awake for hours watching the mist swirl around the mountains across the way, a ghostly dance that was fascinating. The staff couldn't have been nicer, picking me up at the train station and taking me back. There ARE some serious steps to climb to get to the hotel -- if you have any mobility issues, steer clear. My one issue was with the restaurant -- I asked for a 1/2 portion salad, which they made, no problem, but charged me the full price. When I asked why, the reply was "it wasn't that much smaller than the regular one." Harrumph. It was February, the rainy season, and not fully occupied, I felt like a little accommodation was in order, or at least to have told me when I ordered it that there would not be a price difference. This is a minor complaint, the hotel is really very special.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank artnik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2014

First, let me tell you that in general quality of hotels in Aguas Calientes is very poor unless you are willing to pay more than US300 per night! That being said, Rupa Wasi is a gem compared to the rest. Maybe this hotel would receive a very poor review in a more competitive environment...
My wife and I got the room with the panoramic view. It was ok, but again, for that price in any other place of the world you could get much more. Restaurant was good, staff was helpful. Beware of the mosquitos and bring a lot of sunblock. As it is an "eco" lounge, this means you will find a lot of bugs in the room but this is inevitable because the hotel is in the middle of a forest.
The big nuisance was that there were a construction going on the street right in front of the hotel (As of October '13). It was very annoying, I even felt one day but some of the hotel staff noticed it and the same night they offered us free drinks.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Georgi_Tsvetanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Aguas Calientes is a tourist town, and there's no getting around that. But in our room at Rupa Wasi we could completely forget the bustle and commerce all around and truly relax and feel at home. The staff went above and beyond to be helpful and make us comfortable, upgrading us to a larger room with a better view free of charge simply because it was available and allowing us to leave our bags in the room when we checked out while we explored Machu Picchu and come back to get them later (and hang out in their courtyard using the wifi for hours while we waited for our train!). The little touches like the in-house organic soap and unlimited filtered water in the lobby were great, and everyone was friendly and helpful, some with excellent English. Our room was quiet with an incredible view from the private deck, and do not miss the Tree House Restaurant--one of our best meals in all of Peru. FYI, the hotel is not the closest to the station (10 minute walk?) and there's a steep set of stairs to get there, but it's really nothing after hiking around Machu Picchu, and worthwhile for the sense of remove and peace.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Good location within the crazyness of Aguas Calientes. You get the feeling of being there alone, away from the crowed and tourism. Rooms are giving the feeling of sleeping in a tree, the restaurant is a bit more expensive but serves wonderfull food. Clean and good ambiance.Try the veggie lunchbox for taking up to Machu Picchu the next morning. Very early breakfast is possible before going to Machu Picchu and tasty. Staff is helpfull and kind. They have a pick up service for free from the trainstation in Aguas Calientes, wich is very nice. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: First floor room to have a view
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ralph K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2014

This hostel is on the outer edge of Aguas Calientes...which is why I liked it so much. It made for quiet, peaceful sleeping. I really felt like we were in the jungle and not-so-much in town. (However, AC is VERY small. It is a short walk to everywhere.) We stayed in one of the big rooms upstairs. Our beds were comfortable and there was plenty of hot water. My only complaint is that the room got very damp/humid at night. The windows were all covered in condensation and we woke up with a slight chill (even though the room stayed warm). I would stay here again for sure!!!

Room Tip: Ask for one of the upstairs rooms.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank christel_73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

Slept well in the panoramic room! Comfortable bed. Great shower with hot water and water pressure though it is tricky to get it where you want it. Its pretty inevitable that there is a mild moldy smell considering where you are but the room was really nice. Even got a nice massage in our room, only minor thing is they do it on you bed so your neck is turned during the massage. Also nice that they took care of the bus and MP tickets for us. Little hassle because had to call them from the states to pay for the 50% deposit and a little overpriced but overall very good stay!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank miablee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rupa Wasi Lodge

Property: Rupa Wasi Lodge
Address: Calle Huanacaure 105, Aguas Calientes, Peru
Location: Peru > Cusco Region > Sacred Valley > Aguas Calientes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Aguas Calientes
#6 Family Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rupa Wasi’s unique location provides for spectacular views of the mountains of Machu Picchu. Rooms boasting balconies allow our guests to take full advantage of these surroundings. This design marvel fits together magically with the green surrounding of Aguas Calientes to create a peaceful environment, an invitation to relax. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rupa Wasi Eco Hotel Aguas Calientes
Hotel Rupa Wasi Eco

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